In the place it happened
Just when we thought that nothing could be better than day 1... day 2 came along! WOW, what an awesome day.
We started the day at Engedi. This is the place where David ran from Saul in 1 Samuel 23-24. Josh taught is a lot about "who you worship impacts how you treat others." We were amazed to enter the story of David cutting off the corner of Saul's robe in the very place it happened. When he could have killed him, he didn't and instead was remorseful for coming against God's anointed. It was amazing to read this story in the place it happened!
En Gedi is the largest oasis along the western shore of the Dead Sea. The springs here have allowed nearly continuous inhabitation of the site since the Chalcolithic period. The area was allotted to the tribe of Judah, and was famous in the time of Solomon (Josh 15:62). Today the Israeli kibbutz of En Gedi sits along the southern bank of the Nahal Arugot.
After Engedi, we went to Qumran. This is where many scrolls were found, including the Isaiah scrolls of some of the earliest recorded transcriptions of it. We learned about how we can trust the truth and historicity of Scripture. We also talked about what we can learn from the Essene people who copied these scrolls. There were both good and bad things that we could learn from them and how we should respond to the Bible and the Holy Spirit in our lives.
10 miles south of Jericho, Qumran was on a “dead-end street” and provided a perfect location for the isolationist sect of the Essenes to live.
The site was excavated by Catholic priest Roland deVaux from 1953-56. More recent excavations of the site have taken place under the direction of Hanan Eshel.
After a great time at Qumran we walked up a "Wadi" — a place that is quickly flooded when the rain waters come. We looked at the passage in Matthew 7:24-27, where Jesus tell us to build our lives on the "rock" not the "sand". This illustration made so much more sense once we saw a wadi. We are to be firmly planted on God's Word, not place our hope or lives in the way of worldly wisdom (the sand) and promises that are not as secure as God's promises.
We then went to Jericho and heard about both Old and New Testament stories that happened there. This is an OLD city! Like 9000 years old or more. It was so good to be there. We had a great lunch and Josh treated us to his favorite desert in Jericho.
The “City of Palms” spreads out on the west side of the Jordan River at 825 feet below sea level. In Jesus’ day a new center had been constructed on the wadi banks in the foreground by the Hasmonean rulers and Herod the Great.
Then we headed north to Galilee. Tonight we arrived at sunset at the Sea of Galilee. We looked at the story in Luke 8 of the crazy demon possessed guy that Jesus healed in Kursi. It was so amazing to be standing where Jesus once proved that he had power over demonic forced.
The day finished with an amazing dinner at the hotel. It was long but so great! Tomorrow we will go north and see more Old and New Testament sights! We can't wait. Please keep praying for us.
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